Just A Dream...

Prologue: The Reason For It

A full year.
The photograph perched upon the dresser as if nothing had changed, but in his heart, it knew it had. There would never be any going back...she was lost to him forever.
With a sudden burst of rage, he cast the picture down, fighting against the tears that longed to well up inside of him. Crying was not part of Carl Arca's makeup, and he had no intention of letting that change.
But where Raesha was concerned, sometimes it was hard.
He got to his feet, moving over to the window of his appartment. At twenty-one, he had the world at his feet. The owner of Rebel Records, Rory Llewelyn had seen his performance at a local show in his hometown of San Francisco, and had offered him a contract on the spot. He should be happy...
He had accepted, of course. He had promised her as much the last time he had seen her, that even without her he would continue in his - their - dreams. Then she had slipped away from him and his world had changed forever, into the dark, meaningless world of girls and songs that dominated him getting from one day to the next.
Raesha Arca had been both young and impetuous, with a great deal of singing talent and a flair for composition. As children they had been very close, despite the year age gap between them, and had always planned to go into showbusiness together. Carl had begun to style himself 'Blade' in his senior year of highschool, and, jokingly, Raesha had suggested that they should be 'RayzaBlade', playing on her own name. He had taken her up on the idea, and, up until a year ago, they had performed in clubs all across San Francisco.
And then it had happened.
Sometimes he wondered if he could have prevented it. That thought had nagged at him more than once since the funeral. Could he have saved her?
But in truth he knew that he could not have.
She had been beyond his help.
It had, he remembered, been three weeks after their first big performance in the centre of San Francisco. They had played at a local festival, and the show had been a great success. After the performance they had stayed on for some hours, enjoying the atmosphere. Then Raesha had declared that she was tired, and was heading home. She had been perfectly sober when she had left the show - indeed, Raesha had never touched alcohol and had turned her nose up at drugs of any kind - and he had seen no reason to worry.
But she had come off her motorbike and had been hit by an oncoming car. The driver had stopped and tried to help, but she had died in hospital mere hours later, her brother at her bedside.
Foster children, the Arcas had never had any true family of their own to relate to. Their father, it was rumoured, had been an alcoholic, which had inspired Raesha's determined abstinence from the substance. It had made them closer, in truth, and Carl had always protected her where it had been necessary for him to do so.
He had not been able to protect her that night.
When he had arrived at the hospital she had been conscious, and for that he had been glad. She had told him that she knew that she wasn't going to make it, that she had been unconscious and had had dreams about dying. She had said that she was not afraid, and had begged him not to cry for her when she was gone. And then, with almost her last breath she had made him promise her never to give up on their dream of musical stardom.
"You can make it on your own." She had whispered. "I believe in you, and always will...make the Arca family proud."
He had broken only one of his promises to her. He had not been able to prevent crying that night, nor had he been able to well control his emotions during her funeral. But from that moment on he had closed up his heart to anyone. The world was cruel, and to get through it you had to toughen up against it.
And tough he most assuredly was. Nobody knew what kind of grief Raesha's death had caused, for he kept it deep inside of him. And now he was to be a star...
But what kind of star, that was the question.
Would he ever be a true star without her?

Prologue: The Reason For It
Chapter One: Jewel On Tour
Chapter Two: Trapped in Toronto
Chapter Three: Nancy...and Blade
Chapter Four: The Singer
Chapter Five: Rows
Chapter Six: Defection
Chapter Seven: Topaz
Chapter Eight: Sirena Reveals
Chapter Nine: Confrontations
Chapter Ten: A Broken Heart
Chapter Eleven: Jewel Forever

Copper, Nancy, Sylvie, Anna, Blade, Sirena, Topaz, Aaron, Sophie, Justin, Elliot, Rosita, Luis and any other characters in this fiction which do not appear in the animated Jem series are copyrighted to me (E.A Woolley) as of January 2002 <unless otherwise specified> and are not to be reproduced without permission ANYWHERE. Jetta, Pizzazz, Stormer, Roxy, Raya and all other original Jem characters are the copyright of Hasbro Inc, Sunbow, Christy Marx and the other writers of the Jem series.